After the Congregational Forum meeting on November 13, we transitioned to a large-group kick-off meeting, where Carol Davis shared a recap of the purpose of our Dignity Quest and encouragement and positive thoughts about the journey we have chosen to take in our congregational quest for DIGNITY.
Following that, we broke into small groups that focused on each of the 5 Passion areas: Relationships; Ministry & Education; Environment; History & Tradition; Community.
Following the half-hour meetings, all groups combined to enjoy Spaghetti Fellowship! A big THANKS is in order for Jackie Davis for organizing the meal.
Tammy, Emily, Theresa, Wilma and Joe discovered they share a belief that food has the power to bring people together, especially in the Brethren Church. Sharing a meal to kick-off the DIGNITY quest was determined to be appropriate! They discussed, according to Joe, “what we’ve already been doing, and what we can do as a church to be a church with its light on.” Other thoughts gleaned in the discussion are as follows:
- “We’re a peace church. We communicate with others. We have coffee with one another.”
- “We foster good relationships by the way we welcome people. We’re not pushy.
MINISTRY & EDUCATION
Robin, Ed, Connie, Ray and Kevin found themselves excited about “the opportunities ahead wherein we, along with others who want to join, will be able to engage in times of study and education.”
The comment was made that “Education moves us toward ministry.”
The group looks forward to “creating opportunities when and where we can come together in a safe space where we can openly ask questions in groups of diverse thinking people.”
This group discussed how important it is to emphasize how getting together to study can help us be ready for ministry. “Faith is ongoing. There is always room to explore our faith.”
Jessica, Lema and Martha discussed how important it is to pursue our DIGNITY quest by showing a healthy respect for our environment, both locally and globally.
“That’s exactly what we must all be willing to do—take steps, no matter how big or small, to affect change in how we deal with preserving our environment.”
A spirited discussion focused on the question, “What can we do to make a difference?”
It was mentioned that CCOB is already noticing practices that will help us do just that. In fact, we are often encouraged to separate our plastic and paper for recycling at church dinners.
The importance of sharing individual and group accomplishments in this particular area was discussed. Letting our congregation and community know that we care is vital, if we are going to encourage others to join us in this cause.
History and Tradition
Milt, Jackie, Ira, Doris, Bob, Candice and Harold, members of this Passion Group, discussed the following questions, in an attempt to focus their mission: Who are we as Brethren? What is our past? What principles were we founded on? How can we sustain them?
They will be exploring returning to “some of our past practices—foot washing, Ash Wednesday prayer vigil, to mention a couple.”
Although specific activities of each group wasn’t required at this meeting, the group expressed great interest in organizing the photo albums. According to Bob, “We hope by looking through these photo albums to lift up some of the past members of our congregation, what contributions they made . . . .”
Sid, Phyllis, Colin and Lori focused on how to pursue the ultimate goal of DIGNITY by emphasizing how we interact with our community.
Lori commented on how it is important to be “able to hold your head up high and be proud of where you’ve come from and what you’re doing.”
Sid mentioned how vital our quest for DIGNITY is because it involves “helping those who need help.”
Several members of the group mentioned homelessness as an issue that they would be interested in exploring further. Lori emphasized how important it is to be able to find a worthwhile volunteer project that fits her schedule and makes the best use of her personal talents and gifts.”